Modern & Contemporary

Three themes help you to explore the 20th century collections with Tradition and Experiment.

By Lee Isherwood | Last updated 9 February 2011

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Where: Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3JL – 0161 235 8888   map

When: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm.


What: Three themes help you to explore the 20th century collections. Tradition and Experiment looks at how the new century fostered a new approach to making art, based on individual expression and experimentation.

Artists explored different disciplines freely, ranging from painting to furniture design, and delved into their own subconscious to create dreamlike surrealist landscapes.

Two World Wars destroyed the optimism of the early century, and the second theme, 20th Century People explores post-war anxiety and personal identity through the depiction of the human figure.

On a lighter note, Modern Art: You cannot be serious! shows how contemporary art uses illusion and ambiguity to play games with the viewer. From found objects and popular culture, to optical illusion and pure abstraction, the works in this display ask the question ‘should we take modern art seriously’?

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